There is no better game: Joshua Kimmich on facing England at Wembley

Germany came from behind twice against Hungary in their final group game to set up a date with the Three Lions in the Euro 2020 round-of-16.

Joshua Kimmich hugs Joachim Low after their match against Hungary; Credit: Twitter@DFB_Team_EN
By Karthik Raman | Jun 24, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

After narrowly avoiding Euro 2020 elimination on Wednesday, the German players and coach expressed their excitement to face England in the round-of-16 on Tuesday. In their final Group F match, Hungary made Germany run for their money as they twice took the lead. Joachim Low’s side, however, responded to the disappointments with spectacular comebacks. Just 10 minutes after kick-off Hungary got the lead through Adam Szalai’s header before Kai Havertz leveled the score in the second half. However less than two minutes after the equalizer, Andras Schafer restored the lead for Marco Rossi’s side.

With Euro 2020 elimination staring at their face, Germany found a way back in. Leon Goretzka’s 84th-minute equaliser secured them a 2-2 draw and a second-place finish in their group, thereby setting a mouth-watering last-16 clash against England. Right-back Joshua Kimmich, on playing England at Wembley, said, “Awesome. There is no better game. Whether it needed to be in the round of 16, I am not sure. We’ve seen three different games now, and we’ve definitely got room for improvement. We want to show that at Wembley.”

Meanwhile, Germany head coach Joachim Low said, “It is an absolute highlight to play England at Wembley. We will be well prepared and will of course perform differently than today. I can promise that.” Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is “relieved” to survive the tense final day action in Group F.

“We are just relieved that we managed to qualify as group runners-up, of course that was a thriller of nerves,” said Neuer. “That was a many-legged defensive chain that wanted to close everything down. England will be a completely different game. We want to go further – and Wembley suits us.”

Fierce battle

At the World Cup and European Championships, England and Germany have met eight times. Those eight matches are notable because they are the most England have played against any single opponent in the two competitions. The last time England beat Germany in the knockout phase of a major tournament was in the 1966 World Cup final. Back then the Three Lions defeated West Germany 4-2.

Meanwhile, Germany have knocked England out of the 1970 World Cup, the 1990 World Cup, Euro 1996 and the 2010 World Cup. It has been a long time since England enjoyed success against their rival in this phase of the competition. The upcoming match against the Germans on Tuesday will provide the Three Lions with an excellent opportunity to retaliate.

Earlier, Kimmich opened up about their difficult final group match against Hungary, which saw Germany twice come from behind to secure an impressive draw. “Of course, you’re worried for a moment when it’s 2-1 in the meantime. We made it brutally difficult for ourselves to create chances and we did,” Kimmich said.

“Hungary were compact and did well. We were not great at finding a solution, but we showed great morale. In the end it is only important to go through. That will also be the case for the next match and I think we have a good chance to accomplish that.”

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